The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good! And thats what the book is about, powerful information packed in a few 100s of pages to achieve the best of health and lifestyle.
The book also contains almost 100 of Mary McDougall’s recipes, and a 7 day menu plant. Two thirds of the book talks about why a starch-centered diet, most commonly asked questions, statistics and success stories. There are references for every point. Information about protein, fats, soy, calcium, supplements, salt, sugar, glycemic index, salt, fatty acids and so much more.
The book is full of the information you can use to determine a diet for your health, or information you can use to answer questions that always come up in discussions about your diet choice. All without getting too wordy. It feels like a very well rounded reference book that should be on every plan based eaters bookshelf. And it lets you eat potatoes!
I would have loved some pictures with the recipes, but then the book isnt a recipe book. All the statistics and information will help you understand the changes needed and jump start the transition. Once, you are comfortable cooking this way, there are more recipe books, blogs and other options. I am also not so sure about placing a limit on the nuts, seeds (which is moderate consumption) and the minimal unrefined oil that we use right now. Especially since I also read earlier that he considers whole foods, even those with high concentrations of fats, to be health-promoting. However, people interested in losing weight should avoid nuts, nut butters, seeds, seed spreads, avocados, and olives.
I would love to hear from you all what you think about a low-fat plant based, no oil, limited nuts and seeds diet.. You can join in on the conversation on the blog's Facebook page.
Thank you for taking to the time to answer my questions Dr McDougall. It is an absolute honor to be able to chat with you. I write a whole foods based vegan, Indian, food blog and would love to share about your new book with my readers.
1. What is Starch and Why is the book called the Starch solution?
Starches are foods that store a large amount of energy in the form of long chains of simple sugars. This energy is ideal for human health and also provide the protein, vitamins and minerals we need. Common starches are: potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, corn and beans. All large populations of trim, healthy people, throughout verifiable human history, have obtained the bulk of their calories from starch. Examples of once thriving people include Japanese, Chinese, and other Asians eating sweet potatoes, buckwheat, and/or rice, Incas in South America eating potatoes, Mayans and Aztecs in Central America eating corn, and Egyptians in the Middle East eating wheat.
The book is called the starch solution because starch is the most important ingredient in the human diet.
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, plant-strong, etc. mean little in terms of human and environmental health. A pure vegan could live on Cokes and potato chips and many do.
2. What is the problem with dairy, meat, animal products.
People are starch-eaters or "starchivores." We are not designed to live well off of meat, dairy and other animal producrs. Meat is for carnivores (cats), and dairy is the ideal for a young calf. These wrong foods consumed in usual quantities make people fat and sick.
3. What is the problem with some of the other weight loss programs.
Weight loss programs ask you to be hungry (portion controlled diets) or to become sick and lose your appetite (low-carb diets). These are painful and unsustainable programs.
4. The diet plan in the book calls for eating least processed foods, a good amount of whole food starch, plenty of vegetables, no animal products and no added fat. The recipes in the book however use canned and packaged products, all purpose flour and other processed options.
The McDougall Diet seeks the biggest bang for the buck. This is not a religion but a practical way for people to return their lost health and appearances. Ease of preparation trumps perfection of ingredients.
5. You also mention not using Soy in any of the over processed forms(burgers, fake meats, things containing soy isolates) and limiting the natural, less processed Soy options too. Quite a few recipes in the book use Tofu, soy milk, and could lead to most meals containing soy.
The instructions are clear: traditional soy foods in small amounts are acceptable for most people (like a little tofu added as a condiment to a rice dish or a little soy milk on your cold cereal). Soy foods are rich in fat and protein and therefore are used in small amounts. Fake meats and cheeses are chemical concoctions made from isolated soy protein and a few other ingredients - they are not food, are health-damaging, and should be avoided.
6. How much should we worry about added salt and sugar.
People are designed for reasons of survival to be salt and sugar seekers (look at the tip of the tongue). We need sugar which is naturally found in starches and fruits. Our desire for salt insures adequate intake of minerals. The food industry knows of our natural desires and feeds us high quantities of concentrated sugar and salt, which can become health problems. However, a small amount of either used on the surface of foods adds great pleasure with little or no risk for most.
7. Does this diet need added supplementation and why should people stay away from supplements.
Supplements are isolated concentrated nutrients sold in pills and other forms. They create nutrition imbalances within the body (and the cells). Studies consistently show that common vitamin preparations of vitamin A, folic acid, and vitamin E increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, and overall death by 20% to 30%.
8. What about fatty acids. What is the ideal ratio of omega 3 and 6 and the best sources.
Only plants make essential fats (omega-3 and 6). By natural design, starches, vegetables and fruits have the ideal amounts and proportions.
9. Why limit nuts, seeds, and fruits.
Nuts and seeds are about 80% fat. The fat you eat is the fat you wear. These are often the very rich foods that are the downfall for many fat vegans. Too much fruit can mean too much simple sugar for some people. I recommend about 3 fruits a day.
10. Most Indians are already vegetarians, and there is a feel good factor about not consuming meats, that make the change to eliminate dairy difficult. What would you tell them about the need to eliminate all dairy from the diet.
Dairy is "liquid meat." Their impacts on health, animal welfare, and the environment are similar.
11. What does a typical day look like for you. What is on your plate for breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner.
I eat simple:
breakfast is oatmeal with a little fruit
lunch and dinner are soup and bread, beans and rice, sweet potatoes and broccoli, etc..
I recommend people find 1 to 5 meals they like (starch based) and repeat their favorites over again.
You can also get a summary of the book in this hour long talk on youtube by Dr McDougall here.
For more questions, you can join in and ask away on the Live Teleclass with Dr McDougall via Skype, or phone on August 1.
I decided to try a no oil dessert recipe. Though there is very little oil in most of my cakes/quick breads/cookies, I have not yet eliminated the oil(usually virgin coconut oil) completely except from banana bread/cake. The original carrot cake recipe calls for grated carrots which are cooked with liquid and dates, cooled, mixed with flour and cooked. I pureed the carrots instead and used whole grain flours. The resulting cake was surprisingly soft and moist, For an even fluffier texture, use half all purpose flour as the recipe in the book.
Oil Free Carrot Cake recipe.
Adapted from The Starch Solution.
A similar Carrot Cake Recipe from McDougall newsletter here.
1/2 cup carrots
1/4 cup agave
1/2 cup water
a generous inch of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom powders
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2/3 cup flour (I used whole wheat + spelt flour)
1/2 tsp baking powder
a few Tablespoons raisins and chopped walnuts(optional)
Soak the dates in water for 15 minutes.
Puree the carrots, dates with the water.
In a pan, add the carrot date puree and bring to a boil on low heat.
Add the agave and spices and cook for 10 minutes on low to thicken a bit.
Cool the puree. Add vinegar to it and mix.
In a bowl mix the flours and baking powder.
Add the puree and mix till just about combined.
Add raisins and chopped walnuts and fold in(optional)
Bake in preheated 365 degrees F for 35 minutes for two 3.5 inch ramekins, a few minutes longer for 1 pan, until a toothpick form the center comes out clean.
I am giving away a copy of The Starch Solution. Giveaway ends Saturday August 4, midnight PST.(US only)
1. Leave me a comment on this post. and tell me if you have read any of Dr McDougall's books or followed his diet plan , Or your thoughts about what makes a healthy diet. Please leave an email to get in touch with you if you are not a blogger.
Also, do subscribe to the newsletter for articles and recipes.
Carrots and dates puree
For More of The book recipe previews and similar recipes, see Susan's fat free Vegan blog here. and on his website, where recipes can be found in the newsletter archives.
Disclaimer: The Starch solution was sent to me by February partners, so I could talk about it with Dr McDougall. My current diet is plant based but not entirely oil-free. Like every other person, I find facts and information which make sense to me, and lead me to make changes to my diet every now and then. Its a learning process every day. I do not claim to know everything or claim that my diet is perfect.
This carrot cake is being shared at Slightly indulgent Tuesdays, Hearth and soul blog hop, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Ricki's wellness weekend, Amee's Fit and Fab